A formulaic twofer combines some interesting philosophical questions with more familiar charges of Beltway corruption that...

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ENIGMA

Not one but two exciting new cases for Coulter’s FBI (Insidious, 2016, etc.).

Much to the displeasure of Detective Aldo Mayer of the D.C. Metro Police, Special Agent Dillon Savitch sneaks into the home of Kara Moody, a pregnant woman who's being held hostage by a seemingly crazy young man who's raving about unspecified dangers to both of them. After Savitch is forced to shoot the unidentified man, both he and Kara end up in the hospital—Kara in labor. Savitch is worried about the John Doe, who's still unconscious, and asks the police to provide protection, which Mayer pulls without timely notification. Only the presence of Kara, who's visiting his hospital room, saves the man from an assassin. When Kara’s newborn son, Alex, is kidnapped from the hospital, Savitch thinks finding his father may provide answers. Unfortunately, Kara remembers nothing of the party she attended at a friend’s house where she suspects she was roofied, raped, and impregnated. Savitch’s wife, Sherlock, works with the team that’s been set up to find missing babies while Savitch hunts for answers to the unidentified man’s background and an unusual drug found in his system. Meanwhile, Irish charmer Liam Hennessey , who prefers the moniker Manta Ray, is daringly broken loose while he’s on his way to prison for robbery and murder. Savitch asks ex–Army Ranger Special Agent Jack Cabot to join one of his new agents, Cam Wittier, in leading the manhunt because he knows that the escapee and his rescuers are headed into the Daniel Boone National Forest. The pair join a forest ranger and Police Chief Harbinger in a dangerous hunt. Hennessey, who had hidden the proceeds from his robbery of a bank's safe-deposit vaults, has apparently been freed by someone desperate to get back one of the missing items. In order to solve both cases, Savitch and his teams must go way beyond ordinary police work to come up with some surprising and horrifying motives.

A formulaic twofer combines some interesting philosophical questions with more familiar charges of Beltway corruption that could be ripped from the latest headlines.

Pub Date: Sept. 12, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-5011-3806-5

Page Count: 496

Publisher: Gallery Books/Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: July 17, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2017

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A strongly felt, if not terribly gripping, sendoff for a Turow favorite nearly 35 years after his appearance in Presumed...

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THE LAST TRIAL

Trying his final case at 85, celebrated criminal defense lawyer Sandy Stern defends a Nobel-winning doctor and longtime friend whose cancer wonder drug saved Stern's life but subsequently led to the deaths of others.

Federal prosecutors are charging the eminent doctor, Kiril Pafko, with murder, fraud, and insider trading. An Argentine émigré like Stern, Pafko is no angel. His counselor is certain he sold stock in the company that produced the drug, g-Livia, before users' deaths were reported. The 78-year-old Nobelist is a serial adulterer whose former and current lovers have strong ties to the case. Working for one final time alongside his daughter and proficient legal partner, Marta, who has announced she will close the firm and retire along with her father following the case, Stern must deal not only with "senior moments" before Chief Judge Sonya "Sonny" Klonsky, but also his physical frailty. While taking a deep dive into the ups and downs of a complicated big-time trial, Turow (Testimony, 2017, etc.) crafts a love letter to his profession through his elegiac appreciation of Stern, who has appeared in all his Kindle County novels. The grandly mannered attorney (his favorite response is "Just so") has dedicated himself to the law at great personal cost. But had he not spent so much of his life inside courtrooms, "He never would have known himself." With its bland prosecutors, frequent focus on technical details like "double-blind clinical trials," and lack of real surprises, the novel likely will disappoint some fans of legal thrillers. But this smoothly efficient book gains timely depth through its discussion of thorny moral issues raised by a drug that can extend a cancer sufferer's life expectancy at the risk of suddenly ending it.

A strongly felt, if not terribly gripping, sendoff for a Turow favorite nearly 35 years after his appearance in Presumed Innocent.

Pub Date: May 12, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-5387-4813-8

Page Count: 448

Publisher: Grand Central Publishing

Review Posted Online: Feb. 10, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2020

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Amateurish, with a twist savvy readers will see coming from a mile away.

THE SILENT PATIENT

A woman accused of shooting her husband six times in the face refuses to speak.

"Alicia Berenson was thirty-three years old when she killed her husband. They had been married for seven years. They were both artists—Alicia was a painter, and Gabriel was a well-known fashion photographer." Michaelides' debut is narrated in the voice of psychotherapist Theo Faber, who applies for a job at the institution where Alicia is incarcerated because he's fascinated with her case and believes he will be able to get her to talk. The narration of the increasingly unrealistic events that follow is interwoven with excerpts from Alicia's diary. Ah, yes, the old interwoven diary trick. When you read Alicia's diary you'll conclude the woman could well have been a novelist instead of a painter because it contains page after page of detailed dialogue, scenes, and conversations quite unlike those in any journal you've ever seen. " 'What's the matter?' 'I can't talk about it on the phone, I need to see you.' 'It's just—I'm not sure I can make it up to Cambridge at the minute.' 'I'll come to you. This afternoon. Okay?' Something in Paul's voice made me agree without thinking about it. He sounded desperate. 'Okay. Are you sure you can't tell me about it now?' 'I'll see you later.' Paul hung up." Wouldn't all this appear in a diary as "Paul wouldn't tell me what was wrong"? An even more improbable entry is the one that pins the tail on the killer. While much of the book is clumsy, contrived, and silly, it is while reading passages of the diary that one may actually find oneself laughing out loud.

Amateurish, with a twist savvy readers will see coming from a mile away.

Pub Date: Feb. 5, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-250-30169-7

Page Count: 304

Publisher: Celadon Books

Review Posted Online: Nov. 4, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15, 2018

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